How Does An Electric Actuator Work?

Electric actuators pair with motors and drives to create linear or rotary motion. These parts work together to create kinetic motion out of electricity similar to how compressed air or oil creates linear motion with pneumatic cylinders. However, the question remains. How exactly do electric actuators work?

In this blog post, we are going to explain just that along with the benefits of electric motion.

How Electric Actuators Work

The basic operation of an electric actuator looks something like this:

An electric motor spins while a rotor rotates. The spindle causes a ball nut screw to move forwards and backwards. The piston rod attached to the ball nut screw uses this action to create a linear motion.

A drive controls the speed of the motor and is ultimately able to control the speed and rate of the actuator.

Why Electric Motion?

Electric motion gives more accuracy, reliability, and repeatability than either pneumatic or hydraulic motion can give. The predictability of electricity allows for quick acceleration, deceleration, and motion in a way that neither pneumatic nor hydraulic power can duplicate.

Even better, due to a lack of friction within an electric motion system, parts don’t receive the same wear and tear that pneumatic systems experience. This means a longer equipment life for your system. In addition, they can be used for complex motion, and they can work on three-dimensional profiles.

You can also bet that electric motion provides a quieter environment. Compressed air and hydraulic fluids cause noise. Electricity on the other hand is silent. Consequently, very little noise can be heard from these systems.

Energy Savings & Safety

Actuators prove to be a great asset when eliminating contamination of products. This is because electric actuators eliminate the risk of oil or liquid leakage unlike their pneumatic and hydraulic counterparts. Food and beverage, medical, and other industries concerned about product safety should consider using electric motion over pneumatic or hydraulic motion.

As for energy savings, electric systems only need to run while in use. Pneumatic systems need to run continually to maintain pressure within a pneumatic cylinder. Electric motion systems also require less maintenance leading to large cost savings over the life of your system.

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Electric actuators are less common due to their newness in the industry and the higher initial equipment costs, but these actuators can provide unbeatable mechanical benefits to businesses willing to take the plunge.

Want to find out if electric motion is right for your application? Speak to one of our experts today to learn more!